Sunday, August 19, 2012

Inspired By Literature: Agatha Christie

The works of Agatha Christie have been fascinating to me since my childhood. Like many in my generation, I was introduced to Christie through the 1980s and 90s television series based upon one of Christie's celebrated detectives, Monsieur Hercule Poirot. I loved Poirot's persona, the plot twists, intrigue and the art deco style of the show. 

Throughout my life I've expanded my repertoire of Agatha Christie mysteries. From And Then There Were None to her Miss. Marple mysteries I've left no aspect of Agatha Christie's works untouched, and yet I cannot say that I like any others as much as I do those that feature Hercule Poirot. As a precursor to this post I've included the opening them of the television show that first introduced me to an author that is widely regarded as the most published of all time. 

The overarching theme to the products selected for this post is an Art Deco style. Read any of Christie's books featuring Poirot and the imagery is positively dripping with it. Sleek lines, simple shapes and exaggerated shadows exemplify the "film noir" intrigue captured from page to page. The perfect fragrance to embody the esprit of the Hercule Poirot mysteries is undoubtedly Tom Ford's Black Orchid. From the bottle to the heavy and mysterious fragrance itself it seems inspired by the shadows in mystery novels dating back to the 20s and 30s. 

Tom Ford Black Orchid Perfume alongside accoutrements I'm certain Poirot would have required to keep his moustache looking sharp. 

Deep red lips and silver bullets full of illumination and shadow perfectly embody a temptress of Agatha Christie's creation. While red would have been the popular lip color or the day, there is something about plum--be it vampy or subdued--that screams murder mystery vixen. 

(Clockwise from top right): MAC Dark Deed, MAC Media, Chanel Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, Chanel Culte Rouge Coco, Ellis Faas #E305 & #E107 

Much as red lipstick would have been the only color painted on the pout, so too would it have been the only color on the nails. Nevertheless, the shadows, steam and fog that comprise many of the dangerous environments in which detective work takes Hercule Poirot, his partner Captain Hastings and often their office secretary Miss. Lemon are captured in the Chanel polish colors displayed below. 

You also can't imagine that I would have written a post about mystery novels without including Giorgio Armani's aptly named Eyes to Kill Intense shadows, could you? Not only are Pulp Fiction and Red Lust appropriately named, but their colors truly seem to fit the bill. 

(Clockwise from top left): Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy, Particulière, Graphite, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #4 Pulp Fiction, #2 Red Lust

Subdued cheek colors in sleek, Art Deco packages set the stage for the drama of a deep plum lip. NARS Douceur and Sin are simple enough to support drama elsewhere on the face while I chose one of my favorite "collector" items, Guerlain's Terra Inca bronzer simply for its sleek and unusual packaging and design. 

(Clockwise from top right): NARS Douceur, Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder, NARS Sin

It is rumored that Agatha Christie found one of her most enduring characters, Hercule Poirot, "insufferable" as early as the 1930s though she continued to publish books featuring the lead detective for years to come. I suppose the author's opinion of a character of her own creation goes to show just how much fictional characters can become people in our eyes and minds ... even to those who penned their genesis.

Despite Agatha Christie's opinion, Hercule Poirot and the mysteries that accompany him will forever be among my favorites. Do you have any cherished Agatha Christie novels? What cosmetic products do you associate with Agatha Christie's mysteries?